At least 170 people protested against land clearing outside the Queensland parliament on August 17 ahead of a bill which would have required landholders to prove they had not illegally bulldozed their land. The Palaszczuk government's bill was aimed at restoring stronger tree clearing laws and would have reversed the legislation brought in by the conservative Cambell Newman government. That change resulted in almost 300,000 hectares of native woodland being cleared each year.
Hundreds of people marched in Perth on July 23 to say that #BlackLivesMatter. The rally included strong expressions of solidarity with Nyoongar and Aboriginal campaigns for justice and sovereignty as well as expressions of anti-racism. Here are some of the photos from the event.
Murri leader Sam Watson does not have a high opinion of Pauline Hanson's intellect or her lack of substantial policies. However he told Green Left Weekly that “she can't be ignored”. “I was very pleased to see in the last few days when she went to appear on Q&A that there were comrades on the street to challenge her,” he said. He was also pleased when First Nations activist Murrandoo Yanner ordered her out of the building at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. “She is evil and we need to confront that evil and challenge that evil.”
A public forum on abortion decriminalisation held at James Cook University in Cairns attracted more than 80 people on July 13. The night before, a public forum also took place in Brisbane organised by Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose, attracting about 150 people. The JCU meeting was organised by Pro Choice Cairns to inform the discussion around the Abortion Law Reform (Women's Right to Choose) Amendment Bill 2016 which was tabled in parliament on May 10 by Cairns MP Rob Pyne.
The WA government released its plan for remote Aboriginal communities on July 14. The spin is all about “better living conditions”, “supporting families” and “more opportunities”. However the substance is still entirely about penny pinching and withdrawing resources. Communities will close if it is implemented. When WA premier Colin Barnett first announced that up to 150 communities would be forced to close, people responded with a massive, international protest movement to save the communities.
Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose organised a public forum attended by up to 150 people in the Queensland Parliament House on July 12. A similar forum took place in Cairns the next night. Full audio of the forum can be found above.
1000 people marched through the streets behind a banner which read "Safe Schools - Marriage equality - Legalise it now". The pre-election rally for marriage equality was a vibrant and passionate affair with the unambiguous message: no more delays, we don't want a plebiscite, we want equal marriage now!
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) lost one fifth of it's staff (20 per cent) in the two years from June 2013 to June 2015, according to CSIRO Staff Association secretary Sam Popovski. That's more than 1300 jobs.
Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull have delivered a budget for the billionaires. They claim that opposition to their tax cuts for the rich is “class warfare”. But the truth is that they are the ones waging naked war against the ordinary people of Australia. People earning less than $80,000 — the large majority — get absolutely nothing from this budget. The top 10% of taxpayers get three quarters of the benefits while the top 1% get almost half (47%) of the tax cuts.